Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yellowstone Grand Loop

Yesterday, I went fishing within Yellowstone Park. Those humongous trout during volunteer guiding the other day got me back enough fishing sense. Yesterday was meant for both little fan for my own and serious guiding in mind.

I was wondering the water condition in the Park rivers as they eventually come to Montana and we are experiencing historical runoff here in towns below!!
I drove through Highway 191 along Gallatin River. "Gall" was as muddy, high, & scary as "Yell", just half of river width. I drove into the Park and observed Madison. In both Madison and Firehole, water was not actually muddy as I could see the bottom but really high instead. Also water remained cool for this time of year. I didn't see any PMD or caddis in the air, maybe a few, not to mention no trout rises at all. It was quite disappointing for me as I had great dry-fly fishing last year this time. Please go to the post archive for July 2010 on right hand side. I'd like to make links but there are too many posts from last June trip.

I started with streamers, which actually seemed very suited for but no actions at all. I switched to a nymph rig but still no action. I finally belly-snagged on a little browny and that was all for the morning. It just seemed a totally different river from last year.............

After I gathered some guides' secrets from a local shop (very secretive information among guides!!!!), I went to Raynolds Pass. A typical "run-off" rainbow was on

a Rubber Leg. I kind of learned how to take pictures that make fish larger, didn't I??

Then I drove back into the Park (OMG, those buff & people jam........) to fish Firehole. Yesterday I wanted to give myself some time for fun after breeding road, so I hoped Firehole would give me some enjoyable dry-fly actions.
Well........there were rises and caddis in the air around 6pm but far incomparably less than last year. Yet I fished. First one gave me a strong fight and it was one of the largest I ever caught in Firehole, 12-inch rainbow

on olive X2 caddis (shown is tan).

I caught several until rise stopped even before 7pm. Something wrong........I was expecting rise would continue till dark and longer. Anyway one of them was my record-breaking 13-inch rainbow!! Very strong.

I was happy but a bit too easy for me. Sounds cocky or "guides' ego" but those good rainbows didn't seem picky for Firehole and I didn't catch any brown. It just seemed merry rainbows were jumping on any little caddis available on the surface while brown had no interest on such little foods......


From Firehole, I took the Park roads to Gardiner then to Livingston. I wanted to see Yellowstone level might as well. I dropped by an unofficial boat ramp, locally known as "26". What? Is this lake?

No!!!! This is how it looked in early May!! Remember my self-floating?
I must have stood at pretty much the same spot last night.

My boat trailer is about 17- or 18-foot long to carry a 16-foot boat so how high is it vertically!!??

Who knows when we can float 'Stone?

Anyway yesterday was quite busy. I had my own fun and did some leg-works for guiding.


  1. Sorry to hear the water levels are so high out there right now. Hopefully they will start cooperating soon. Nice looking Bows. Really like the Caddis pattern. Great Post. Tight Lines.

  2. Yeah, we are having one of biggest run-offs in the history. That makes our fishing somewhat tough whether fishing myself or guiding. Then again, there always are techniques, spots, & options to get through this kind of period....